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Thursday
Sep202012

Laura's Loop: Cashmere Cuff

Like Molly, my summers as a kid were filled with the making and trading of friendship bracelets. I would pin vibrant strands of DMC to my jeans or even to my Keds, fervently knotting up bracelets every chance I got. I am thankful Molly has brought them back into our lives here at Purl Soho, but now... I cannot get enough! 

Loving the nostalgia of the friendship bracelet, but also feeling a bit "adult" since my thirtieth birthday last month, I decided to approach my childhood obsession from a new perspective. And so while I love the electric colors of the classic summertime bracelets, I find myself wanting a tamer palette to accompany the wisdom of my years.
But what I toned down in color, I amped up in gauge, reaching straight for my favorite chunky yarn, Jade Sapphire's 12-ply Mongolian Cashmere. Its spin provides the perfect sheen for jewelry, especially the glowing color Silver Pearl. Jade Sapphire's yarns are hand dyed,and the subtle shifts in color perfectly complement the super structured, tightly textured macrame bracelet. 
But since no one is too old for a pop of color, I couldn't resist a little! For three versions I threw in some bright strands of Manos Del Uruguay's Maxima, a single-ply, hand spun merino.  And for the other version, I added Blue Sky's Worsted, a beautiful merino and royal alpaca blend. 

The Materials

To make Versions 1, 2 and 3:

  • 1 skein of Jade Sapphire's 12-ply Cashmere, 100% Mongolian cashmere. I used the color Silver Pearl.
  • 1 skein of Manos Del Uruguay's Maxima, 100% extrafine merino wool. I used the color Shocking.

To make Version 4:

I was able to make all four of these bracelets out of the one skeins of Cashmere.

The Pattern: Version 1

This pattern is adapted from Molly's Macrame Friendship Bracelets. To see that pattern click here. She also created Valentines Friendship Bracelets which are available here!

Cut the Yarn

Cut eight 72-inch long pieces of the main color. We will refer to it as Yarn A.

Cut three 72-inch long pieces of the contrast color. We will refer to it as Yarn B.

Cut one 12-inch long piece of either yarn.

Prepare the Strands

Loop the 72-inch strands onto the 12-inch strand in the following order: A, A, A, B, A, B, A, B, A, A, A

Tie the 12-inch piece of yarn in a loose knot. You will undo this knot later so don't tie it too tight!

Using a safety pin, pin the loop to your jeans (or any other stable piece of fabric that you don't mind getting holes in) to keep it steady.

Start with a Left Knot

Place the farthest left strand over the strand to its right, in a sort of a "4" shape as shown above.

Pull the end of the strand through this "4" loop creating a knot.

While holding the right strand taut, pull up the left strand to form a tight knot as shown above. Repeat once more. Both the Left and Right Knots are actually made up of two knots each.

Continue to work from left to right with the same strand to make 6 more Left Knots.

Now a Right Knot

The right knot is made in the same manner as the left but in the opposite direction.

Place the farthest right strand over its left hand neighbor in the "P" shape shown above.

Pull the strand's end through the "P" to form a knot.

While pulling the left strand tightly down, pull the right strand upwards to form a taut knot. Repeat this once to make a full Right Knot. Remember both the left and right knots are actually made up of two knots each.

Continue to work from right to left with the same strand to make 6 more Right Knots.

A Few More Rows of Left Knots and Right Knots

Left Knots are always tied from left to right and Right Knots are always tied from right the left.

Work from left to right, making 5 Left Knots.

Work from right to left, making 5 Right Knots.

Make 3 Left Knots.

Make 3 Right Knots.

Make 1 Left Knots.

Make 1 Right Knots.

Body of the Bracelet

Make 10 Left Knots.

Make 10 Right Knots.

Tie the two center strands in a Left Knot. 

Repeat the previous 3 steps until the bracelet is the desired length.

Finish the Bracelet

Make 8 Left Knots.

Make 8 Right Knots.

Make 6 Left Knots.

Make 6 Right Knots.

Make 4 Left Knots.

Make 4 Right Knots.

Make 2 Left Knots.

Make 2 Right Knots.

Divide the strands in half down the center.

Find the center left strand. Make a Right Knot around all the strands to its right.

Repeat this 5 more times.

Find the center right strand. Make a Left Knot around all the strands to its left.

Repeat this 5 more times. 

Make two braids, tie a knot in each end and trim the ends.

Unpin the safety pin. Untie the knot at the top of the bracelet that the safety pin was piercing. Tautly, re-tie a knot at the tip of the bracelet.

To Wear

Pull the braids through the oval you created at the top of the bracelet. Tie a gentle knot. And that's it!

The Pattern: Version 2

The bulk of this pattern is identical to the pattern for Version 1. The major difference is the number of strands of each color and their arrangement.

Cut the Yarn

Cut ten 72-inch long pieces of the main color. We will refer to it as Yarn A.

Cut one 72-inch long pieces of the contrast color. We will refer to it as Yarn B.

Cut one 12-inch long piece of either yarn.

Prepare the Strands

Loop the 72-inch strands onto the 12-inch strand in the following order: A, A, A, A, A, B, A, A, A, A, A

Tie the 12-inch piece of yarn in a loose knot. You will undo this knot later so don't tie it too tight!

Using a safety pin, pin the loop to your jeans (or any other stable piece of fabric that you don't mind getting holes in) to keep it steady.

Follow the Version 1 pattern, above, starting with the Start with a Left Knot section. 

The Pattern: Version 3

Cut the Yarn

Cut four 72-inch long pieces of the main color. We will refer to it as Yarn A.

Cut one 72-inch long pieces of the contrast color. We will refer to it as Yarn B.

Cut one 12-inch long piece of either yarn.

Prepare the Strands

Loop the 72-inch strands onto the 12-inch strand in the following order:  A, A, B, A, A

Tie the 12-inch piece of yarn in a loose knot. You will undo this knot later so don't tie it too tight!

Using a safety pin, pin the loop to your jeans (or any other stable piece of fabric that you don't mind getting holes in) to keep it steady.

Top of the Bracelet

Work from left to right, making 3 Left Knots.

Work from right to left, making 3 Right Knots.

Work from left to right, making 1 Left Knots.

Work from right to left, making 1 Right Knots.

Body of the Bracelet

Make 4 Left Knots.

Make 4 Right Knots.

Tie the two center strands in a Left Knot.

Repeat the previous 3 steps until the bracelet is the desired length.

Finish the Bracelet

Make 2 Left Knots.

Make 2 Right Knots.

Divide the strands in half down the center.

Find the center left strand. Make a Right Knot around all the strands to its right.

Repeat this 5 more times.

Find the center right strand. Make a Left Knot around all the strands to its left.

Repeat this 5 more times.

Make two braids, knot the ends and trim the ends.

Unpin the safety pin. Untie the knot at the top of the bracelet that the safety pin was piercing. Tautly, re-tie a knot at the tip of the bracelet.

For how to wear the bracelet, jump up to the How to Wear section above.

The Pattern: Version 4

Go wild! Now that you have the hang of it, cut as many or as few 72-inch strands as you'd like. You can arrangement the strands asymetrically, as I have done here, to make a more varied and braided looking bracelet.

Reader Comments (19)

WOW! Really really good entry! I love the bracelet, that's great craftsmanship. This is what I'm doing next. Love it!

<3 Ida
September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIda
Is it okay to use worsted yarns for both color choices in the bracelet?
September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
Hi Deb-

Sure! You can use whatever size yarn you like- it will just be bigger or smaller accordingly.

Please let us know if you have any more questions.

Best-

Molly
September 21, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just made this, and i love it! Thank you!
September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn
Hi Molly, I'm having a difficult time figuring out which strands to use when moving from left to right and vice versa. From step one, does the furthest most left strand continue tying knots towards the center, or after completing the first Left Knot do you move to the next set of strands, then the 3rd, then the 4th, etc?

Many Thanks!
October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
When it says "Continue to work from left to right with the same strand to make 6 more Left Knots", which strand is the "same strand"?

I take this to mean the far left strand is used for all the left knots, but that doesn't seem right.
October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEl
Hi Jennifer and El,
Yes, for a Left Knot, the farthest most left strand will work the second most left strand then third, then fourth, etc, working inward toward the center.

So to make that first Left Knot you took the first strand and knotted it around the second strand. You will then work it around the third, then fourth, etc. The 'same strand' should be the strand in your right hand. If you dropped it after working the first Left Knot, it will naturally fall to the right of the strand you just knotted around.

I do hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any more questions.
Laura
October 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is SUCH a fun project! Just made it over the weekend. Used merino wools (not cashmere) for both colors and it turned out great. The first one I made was a little wonky, but the second one is great. Thanks for the great, fun project.
October 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereva
How many bracelets can you get out of one skein of the cashmere?
October 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Hi Kate-

Laura got 4 bracelets from one skein.

Thank you!

Molly
October 13, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! I'm looking for the version 4 pattern but I don't see it. I love it the best- just the right size and style for the gift I'm making. Could you please share the details? Or at least how many strands? Thanks
December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Hi Kate.
Version 4 has 8 strands. I believe two of which are white strands and 6 are grey. It was done on the fly so I do not have a pattern for it. i do know that the strands were not set up symmetrically as with Versions 1, 2 and 3.

Sorry to not have a more specific answer,
Hope you have fun experimenting with it.
Laura
December 31, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura,
These are amazing! Thank you for sharing and also for adding a bit of an adult touch! You just got me thinking what I have at home that I could use and get back to "pinning my jeans" :-)
Have a great day!
April 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca
Beautiful! I made a few and I tought children at school!
I can't get cashmere here in Croatia, but looks cool even if it is made of cord.
At last photo of the piece of art, there are two rings.
I fancy them a lot, can I perhaps get the info where from are they?

Best!
Martina.
July 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartina
Hi Martina-

The rings are designed by Gabriella Kiss. Here is her website: http://gabriellakiss.com/

Thank you for writing in!

Best-

Molly
July 29, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura!!
Can you and Molly come up with more macrame projects? You are both so great at making this kind of thing make sense. I have searched lots of places for more patterns that are cute and easy to make & understand, but nothing compares to what I find here! I have been looking specifically for a descent looking bag pattern, but I am really bad when I tomes to understanding instructions and so can not find anything!
I know, though, that I can trust you guys for cute & simple projects, so that's why I am asking.
THANKS!!!!!!
September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLily
Hi Lily-

Thank you so much for your suggestion and for your kind words about our projects. We don't have much experience with marcrame beyond bracelets but we will certainly keep your suggestion in mind.

Thanks!

Molly
September 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Come on, don't feel like that! Why do you think there's the term"young at heart"? I recently turned ten, my first double digit, and I don't feel a speck different! Anyways, thanks for the tutorial! It is such a great idea to use a classic bracelet pattern for an awesome bangley thingy. Also, I really love your book,"Last Minute Knitted Gifts". I really want to make the movie star scarf for my mom. Thanks so much for all these totally awesome projects! So creative!
November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKel
Ok. By far my favorite friendship bracelet!! Love the cuff!! Blogged and linked back to here from:

http://www.noshtoknitting.com/2013/04/friendship-bracelets-and-valentines-day.html?m=1
February 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThanita

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